Tesla Maps Out Supercharger Network, Speeds Up Charging

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Tesla Motors Supercharger Network In 2015 - released May 2013

Tesla Motors Supercharger Network In 2015 - released May 2013

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The electric-car maker Tesla Motors [NYSE: TSLA] has announced breathtaking expansion plans for its Supercharger network, detailing where the company plans to install its proprietary Supercharger rapid-charging stations all the way through 2015.

According to CEO Elon Musk, who announced the expanded network and other improvements in a media conference call, Tesla owners will be able to choose from hundreds of stations and thousands of charging ports by 2015, and to drive all the way from Los Angeles to New York, using only the company's Supercharger network, by the end of 2013. Ultimately, the company plans to cover 98 percent of the population within the U.S. and Canada by 2015.

The supercharger announcement, already postponed by the company's announcement that it had paid off all of its Department of Energy loan, delivers detail to a long-anticipated series of tips and hints about a massive expansion of the network.

Not just new regions, but route options

The expansion won't just reach new regions of the country, but it will increase the density of stations on well-traveled routes. Tesla plans to reduce the distance between Supercharger stations to just 80 to 100 miles, and there will be some redundancy in options between stations.

Musk said he also doesn't want owners to get locked into using a single route. So for instance in California owners would eventually be able to take U.S. 101 or California 1 instead of I-5. “I think we'll probably end up doing more than what's shown here in 2015,” he added.

This summer, the company will add chargers in the Pacific Northwest, Florida, Colorado, and Illinois, along with new stations in the Northeast (stretching south to Virginia). Then this fall, new stations in Michigan and elsewhere in the Midwest will open up the possibility of long-distance travel in that region, while many more stations will fill in the gap between Virginia and Florida. By the end of the year, the company plans to open a cross-country passage mostly via I-80, through Utah, Colorado, Wyoming, South Dakota, and Minnesota, allowing that LA to New York road trip.

Vancouver to San Diego, or Montreal to Miami, are a couple of other possibilities that Tesla mentions as possible with the new network.

With the pacing of a normal road trip

With the Supercharger stations in place, owners will be able to drive for three hours, then stop for a 20-minute break before heading back out, noted Musk, who summed: “Essentially...it allows them to stop for the normal amount of time they'd stop on a road trip”

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Comments (8)
  1. Guess that the quote at the end of the article must be from the conference call because it is not the one from the video.

    In the video, he says you have to pack some food :)

  2. Tesla is painting a fascinating picture of the future here: fast charging EVs that will increasingly match traditional ICE vehicles in terms of real world practicality except without paying for fuel on longer trips ever!

    It's pretty disruptive and no doubt this vision has the oil industry's full attention. It's like going to the bad part of town and offering highly addictive substances for free. Your friendly local crack dealer is bound to have an opinion about that.

  3. LOL, you're comment is atomic-gold...

  4. Our Model S arrives next week, and we had already planned a road trip from Sacramento to Portland for around September, so it looks like that might just have gotten even easier.....

  5. While some automakers spend time and money with useless concepts cars just for marketing purposes, others fight to bring a revolution to real world, like Tesla.

  6. This is most welcome news. I will be looking for a replacement lease or buy for my Leaf in 2015 or 2016. If tesla can deliver a 35,000 eV with compatible charging ports for the SuperCharger connections, then I will have a Tesla as my second eV. No wonder the IC lobby and its oil allies are eager to do Musk and Tesla Motors a death blow. Most welcome news!!

  7. Have no idea where Musk is coming from. Perhaps from the same place where he came up with the idiotic claim that his Model S will travel 300 miles down the Interstate at typical 70 MPH plus, and on a hot/cold travel day no less. The 20 minute figure he quotes refers to the FIRST half of a charge. Everyone knows that the second half takes longer than the first. And since when will anyone drive for his claimed three hours (195 plus miles, depending upon posted speed limits)and stop for HALF a charge? Anyone traveling will always do a full up charge. And a typical potential driving range of 200 will always be quite a bit less, (less than 150 miles)since the charging stations are located many miles apart.

  8. @Kent: Not the first "half" of a charge. A charge to 80 percent of capacity.

    I'd also be more than a little careful about blindly characterizing what "everyone will" do. Tesla owners have proven themselves to behave in some interesting ways.

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